A Difficult Question of English Questions.
If you take my mother tongue, Polish language, you just add a question word “Czy” (sth. like “tshy”) to the beginning of a sentence and voila: you’ve got a question. And it’s great because it applies to all, I’m not kidding, ALL tenses: past, present, future, all modes and stuff.
Questions in English are probably the most challenging aspect. Whatever languages you consider, I wager, you won’t find a more complex way to build questions. Oh, but that’s relative of course. Again it’s a question (sic!) of where you sit. (That’s for the sake of all haters and protesters. But go ahead and criticize anyway:-)).
We just wanna have fun, right?
Prepare your own list of questions, depending on the kind of language you want to concentrate on or just use the ones at:
- http://www.theemotionmachine.com , where you’ll find great examples of questions pertaining to life in general – very nice for pair-work and arousing a great variety of reactions – from emotional debates to uncontrollable laughter.
- http://esl.about.com/od/beginnerpronunciation/a/basicquestions.htm for more basic questions at elementary level.
II. Types of questioning techniques.
Spin doctors know best that you can get any answer from anybody, provided you ask the question/-s. There are a number of great techniques which may interest you and your students at http://changingminds.org/techniques/questioning/questioning.htm
Here are some of them:
- “Columbo Technique” – asking a series of stupid and/or irrelevant questions (just to get/keep somebody talking) among which we slip in the key question.
- “Double Bind Questions” – asking questions with an underlying supposition or assumption, eg.: “Are you cheating on me again?”
They are interesting and powerful. Don’t miss out on them.
And have fun.
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